To study zebra finch allocation of energy to day and night at two different workloads, we assessed the daily energy turnover from: (1) metabolizable energy of the food, and (2) doubly-labeled water. In both experiments we imposed two levels of activity on captive zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata), by applying different computer-controlled workload schedules. A low workload required 20 hops, and a high workload 40 hops to obtain 10 s access to food. In experiment 1, we further measured nocturnal energy expenditure by overnight oxygen consumption. From experiment 2 we derived an estimate of the costs of hopping activity, from inter-individual association of daily amount of hopping and daily energy expenditure. Surprisingly, the daily energy budget was, on average, reduced slightly when birds were subjected to a high workload. Since hopping activity was 50% higher during the high workload than during the low workload, the birds apparently compensated, even over-compensated, for the increased energetic demands of activity. Nocturnal energy expenditure was indeed reduced for the high workload, which was largely due to a reduction in resting metabolic rate. Economizing on energy was more than could have been accomplished by a reduction in mass alone, and we discuss the occurrence and potential mechanisms of physiological compensation. The amount of energy saved during the night did account for part of the total amount of energy saved. We surmise that the strategy of energetic compensation observed during the night was extended into the inactive hours of the day.
|Tijdschrift||Journal of comparative physiology b-Biochemical systemic and environmental physiology|
|Nummer van het tijdschrift||7|
|Status||Published - okt.-1998|